And now for the next in our adamant series of recommendations of various talks, we'd like to point to the illuminating TED talk by Jason Fried entitled 'Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work'.
Fried's theory is that, contrary to the widely held belief that Facebook and Twitter prevent people from doing work (which, admittedly, in some instances is very much the case), over and micro-management and an overestimate of the amount of weight and faith one ought to put in meetings.
Having worked successfully from home for the opening couple of years of Brainworth's existence, we've learned two things:
1) Face to face time between members of a team is a valuable and important aspect of working life, especially when cultivating a working culture.
2) Meetings are great at facilitating this, however are readily defined by their own purpose and the outcomes they achieve.
Weekly meetings for the sake of it have never been part of our philosophy. Being as the majority of people working on Brainworth in the very early days would work from home on their own tasks, communication on that level was scant. The value we placed on people's time was elevated to being at a premium, and we all learned very quickly to spend the time when we were together as efficiently as possible.
Each time we met up, it was because a real brainstorming session was necessary to proceed, whether it was on art style, animations, figuring out an algorithm with two brains instead of one, but one way or another time wasn't wasted.
A healthy mixture of autonomy for Brainworth team members and an acceptance of work which wasn't yet where it needed to be let each team member try new things and learn from mistakes. Nothing was ever so important that it required our CEO to look over anyone's shoulder. On the off chance something didn't work out in exactly the way it needed to, feedback and a second gambit was always the order of the day.
Now, we're in a vastly different situation, of course, but the learnings of our earlier days has left us with a healthy respect for each others' time.
Management is meant to steer a ship, not swabbing the decks. This overarching respect for the contribution each person makes, we believe, will lead to a stronger culture and more productive workforce overall.